I have had a rocky relationship with my sister, and she can be very belittling and vicious when she wants to be. It’s been a problem before; my girlfriend gets upset when my sister talks down to me, which happens frequently. I’ve been dealing with it for years so I just find it easier to ignore.
The problem is that now my sister has expressed an opinion about the two of us, rather than just me. Recently, she expressed concern that we’re moving too fast (we’ve been together a year), and she wants me to think about what I’m doing. (To clarify, "too fast" means that we’ll be moving in together in a month, we’ve discussed children and marriage and we’ve made a verbal commitment to each other.)
My girlfriend is very hurt by this and thinks that my sister doesn’t want her to be with me. It’s just something between me and my sister, and I know an issue like this would’ve arisen no matter who I brought home. My parents, who have been entirely supportive and welcoming to my girlfriend, feel the same way; they’ve told me that only my sister is concerned about this and they asked her not to bring it up with me.
So I guess my question is, how can I keep this from driving a wedge between my girlfriend and my family? I’ve explained to her the fractious relationship I have with my sister, and how things like this have happened before. I also have asked her to sit down and talk with my sister about this issue, but she’s still reluctant. I’d appreciate any advice you have to offer.
Anna says: A move-in after a year is too fast? In lesbian years, that’s like almost a decade. Four months was my cohabitating record. U-holla!
To put it bluntly, eff your sister. Don’t be her punching bag. Don’t even bother trying to schedule a pow wow between her and your girlfriend. Why waste the energy when you could be doing more important things, like following Lindsay Lohan’s prison drama or counting your split ends?
If you’re not into confrontation, then ignore her completely. Don’t engage. Tell her you refuse to talk about your relationship until she can be respectful and mature. Your parents have your back on this, so this won’t drive a wedge between your family. The wedge is already there, and it’s shoved up your sister’s petty, belittling backside.
Seriously though — there’s no reason to put up with her abuse if you don’t have to. OK, so you share some genetics. That doesn’t mean she can treat you and your girlfriend like children.
Being concerned is one thing. Trying to control your life is a different animal. And that animal is an ass. Sure, you’ll still have to interact with her during family trips to the Home Town Buffet and whatnot, but you can choose to see her as little as possible once you’re out of that toxic environment. And that’ll be much easier when you move in with your girlfriend. Which you definitely should. You have my approval. And that’s all that matters, right?
Readers, what say you? How do you deal with meddling siblings?
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Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley.